This week in Winning Post

It's been a relatively quiet spring for Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan but he did manage to win the last race of the Melbourne carnival with Solicit. He'll be hoping to keep up the momentum at Rosehill this Saturday when Ryan will tackle the listed Festival Stakes (1500m) with Red Excitment (pictured) and Peace Force.

The Festival is one of three black-type races on the Rosehill program and there's also stakes action at Doomben and Ascot on Saturday.

Either side of that, there's country-cups action at Wodonga and Pakenham in your whirlaway Winning Post.

Our form coverage kicks off with full form guides for Moonee Valley and Canterbury Friday night as well as Wodonga Cup day plus fields, colours and tips for Muswellbrook, Canberra and the Sunshine Coast night meeting.

The metro racing this Saturday is at Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Rosehill in Sydney, Morphettville in Adelaide, Doomben in Brisbane and Ascot in Perth.

Winning Post carries full-colour liftout guides for all those meetings plus Yarra Valley (Vic/SA/Tas edition), Newcastle (NSW editon) and Gold Coast (Queensland edition), as well as fields, tips, ratings and/or colours for other TAB Saturday cards.

On Sunday we've got liftout formguides for four more TAB meetings including Pakenham Cup day at Park plus fields, ratings, tips and colours for a stack more Sunday and Monday programs.

Don't forget Winning Post now carries trackwork reports for all four Melbourne training tracks, all three in Sydney, Morphettville in Adelaide and a general Brisbane report.

Away from the form, we've got news columns from Queensland, NSW, six Victorian districts, SA and Tasmania.

Our readers have their say on page 4, while further back in the book Shane Templeton reminisces, Paul Richards presents his unique take on the sport and our new column, Number Cruncher, delivers the stats that matter.

Winning Post costs $5 and is available Thursday afternoon in selected Melbourne newsagents, the crack of dawn Friday elsewhere.

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Inside Winning Post November 28 edition you'll find liftout form guides for:
Moonee Valley (night), Canterbury (night), Wodonga
Moonee Valley, Rosehill, Morphettville, Doomben, Ascot, Yarra Valley (Vic/SA/Tas edition), Newcastle (NSW edition), Gold Coast (Qld edition)
Sunday: Park, Swan Hill, Hawkesbury, Hobart
Who is Australia's greatest thoroughbred?
Eye Catchers
Each week Paul Richards identifies horses from recent race meetings that he believes are ready to win. Here we update you when they are about to have their next start.
Wodonga Friday - R6 N5 King's Dance 2nd
Rosehill Gardens Saturday - R7 N6 Role Model 3rd
Moonee Valley Saturday - R7 N12 Celeritas 8th
Letter of the Week

Whateley waffle

The death of Red Cadeaux triggered an amazing response from Gerald Whateley from Sunday’s ABC Offsiders.  
While referring to claims that the deaths of four horses over the last three Melbourne Cups were a result of separate and contingent events, he waved his hands about seemingly expressing doubts about this, saying “four horses in three years is not acceptable”.
He backed up on Monday morning radio, expressing identical thoughts. (So even if on Sunday he was perhaps overly emotional, by Monday he’d had time to reconsider, but no change in his position.)
What are we to make of this? One of the seemingly most respected sports commentators seriously entertains the suggestion that there’s something else than sheer bad luck going on in these deaths. No discussion of the individual circumstances of each death, no broad statistical analysis of deaths in 3200m races, no discussion of whether there’s even an iota of evidence to support a thesis of the Cup becoming (somehow?) a more physically stressful event over the last few years.
Perhaps if the numbers increased to (say) ‘six in six years’, then the judgment of ‘not acceptable’ might actually begin to have some bite, for regardless of the realities of luck one can imagine many people drawing different conclusions, but Whateley is a senior commentator and so-called analyst, and from my perspective without excuse here.
With an opportunity to actually lead sensible discussion, instead he gestures towards something dark, with no justification apart from the woefully inadequately-sized statistic of ‘four in three’.
The overwhelming probabilities are that down the track Whateley’s thoughts on this issue will look downright silly, but get ready for him to up the ante if there happens to be another death in the next couple of years.


Michael Barton
Today's Racing
Saturday 28 November
Sunday 29 November
Monday 30 November
Social Networking

Paul Richards introduces a fun formula each week designed to come up with the odd winner for those looking for a small interest or to see if systems really work. On this page he subjects Saturday's fields to one of those systems: